Rude Welcome

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats scored four goals in the first 25 minutes of the game and never looked back, blazing to an 11-3 laugher over the expansion Minot Minotauros in each team’s preseason debut Friday at the VFW Sports Center.

“We were all very excited to be back out there and playing, and a lot of us picked right up where we left off,” said Bobcats forward Frank DeAugustine, who tallied a goal and three assists in the victory. My line with Dan [Zawacki] and Tyler [Richter] has a lot of chemistry from last year so we were able to click right away.”

DeAugustine and Richter each picked up a fast assist as blueliner Charlie Aus opened the scoring by stinging home a Richter rebound just 4:27 into the game to put the home side out to a fast 1-0 lead.

John Furgele doubled the lead to 2-0 with 2:23 to go in the first, getting free on a 4-on-4 and converting a perfect back-door feed from DeAugustine.

The Bobcats claimed control quickly in the second, getting goals in the first five minutes of the middle frame from Zawacki and Grant Mindt to push the lead to a comfortable 4-0.

Minot responded to Mindt’s strike with their first score as former Minot High star Jadin Martin beamed a rising slap shot that deflected off a Bobcat defender and in, cutting the Cats’ cushion to 4-1.

Martin’s tally would be the only one allowed by starting netminder Tommy Burke, who shut down 11 of 12 shots he faced in 31:36 of work Friday.

“I liked the way the D was working in front of me,” commented Burke, who stands poised to seize the reins as the Bobcats’ next top goalie, “any time there were rebounds the defense cleared them and they gave me a nice look at almost every first shot.”

Minutes later Aus notched his second of the night, this time off a Ryan Callahan rebound to reinstate a four-goal lead for the Bocbats at 5-1.

After the game, Aus—who did not score a goal in the 2010-11 campaign—had a simple explanation for his new-found offensive flair.

“I owe it all to the number change,” joked the defender from Lino Lakes, Minn., who switched from number 20 to 7 in the offseason, “lucky number seven! Seriously, though, guys were taking smart shots that created rebounds and I was fortunate that a couple were long rebounds that came to me.”

The Bobcat blitz continued as rookie Shane Omdahl and veteran Nikolaj Rosenthal added late-period scores to extend the advantage to 7-1 after two periods.

Minot tried to climb back into the game early in the third with Kelvin Walz and Kyle Bonstrom potting quick goals to slice it back to a 7-3 game, but the Minotauros would get no closer.

DeAugustine, Omdahl, Donald Olivieri and Rosenthal brought the house down with consecutive goals to give the Bobcats the final 11-3 margin, the most lopsided home win since Game One of the 2010 Central Division Finals when the Bobcats beat Alexandria 9-2.

The two teams will reconvene for the preseason finale Saturday at 7:15 PM at the VFW Sports Center before each squad heads to Blaine, Minn., for their respective season openers at the 2011 Combat Hockey NAHL Showcase.

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 PM.

Season tickets are now on sale for the 2011-12 season—and going fast! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 or email for more information on reserving your seats for the upcoming season!